Disability in Local and Global Contexts - Nordic Network on Disability Research Conference
7-9 May 2025, University of Helsinki, Finland
Conference theme

Disability and inequality experiences are embodied, and consequently too often individualised and normalised. When critically studying disability in a context, local and global structural barriers finally come to the surface of inquiry. Yet, we have often tried to understand the social phenomenon of disability in a local context, even though global issues increasingly impact on the phenomenon. In recent years, we slowly started to understand the impact of global issues such as climate change, pandemic, digitalisation, war and migration that are intertwined to the social fabric to complicate the phenomenon of disability in a local context. Furthermore, it could be argued that these global challenges have profoundly questioned the binary of local/global based on spatial divisions following nation state or continental borderlines. At the same time as these global challenges demand international collaboration, we have witnessed a rise in nationalist political movements that return to harsh division of local from global. Against these ongoing changes and challenges, it is critical to ask how should disability studies approach changing relations of the local and global. If we consider disability as a contextualised phenomenon, how do these changes impact our understanding of/approach to disability? What kind of new research questions are unfolding from these changes? What does contextual sensitivity/rigorousness mean and require from disability scholars? 

The NNDR2025 conference, Disability in local and global contexts, invites scholars, activists, decision makers, NGOs, private sector actors, and those interested in disability in local and global contexts to encounter each other and deepen our understanding of disability both locally and globally.